Friday, November 12, 2010

Four Questions For You (At The End, Silly!)


My mother told me years ago that if I made sure the house was tidy before going to bed, the next day would run much smoother.

It took me about 11 years to realize she was right. I ignored this advice for much of those 11 years, and now, in my nearly 13th year of marriage, I have tried to make my home tidy before bed. It doesn't always work, of course, but I have found that if I get the kids in gear to put their things away and finish their chores in the evening (rather than in the morning or right after school), it not only gets done more quickly, but everyone seems to be happier. Rising to a clean(er-ish) house each morning has allowed me to focus on the immediate tasks on hand, rather than what was left-over. I don't feel "already behind," as it were.
Everybody's different, of course. We all do what works for us, but still, I kind of wish I had not rebelled against my mother's sound advice. It probably would have saved me years of frustration. In the cleaning sense, of course.

Books I'm Reading or Want To Read:

Stones Into Schools by Greg Mortenson
The China Study (still reading it! I know! It's very fascinating, but I'm reading it slowly. I'm almost done.)
The Book of Mormon (with the kids in the morning before school --we're in Alma.)
Second half of the New Testament (on my own. Most days. Okay, some days. I'm still reading The Acts.)
Harry Potter [Book One] by J.K. Rowling for my kids; we read a chapter every night!

Fablehaven [Book Five] by Brandon Mull
Percy Jackson Series

Salt Lake Acting Company is doing If You Give A Mouse A Cookie this year (last year it was this), and I'm excited! I think I just might take the kidlets...

I just ordered our Christmas Cards! Well, photo card thingies. You know, from Costco? The Photo Card...uh... thingies? Yeah! Them!

I've also written our family newsletter (which will be nearly 1/8 of our previous ones).

I've also written out lists of Christmas gifts for everyone, happily noting that several are already bought!

I've also contemplated not doing neighbor gifts again. Perhaps we'll stick to primary teachers and visiting teaching people and home teaching people.

You may be wondering, "Why is Cheryl doing all this Christmas stuff before Thanksgiving?" and "Doesn't she know it's not December, yet?" and "Why is she listing questions you might ask her?" I will tell you:
Year after year after year, December is mortifying is so many ways. I get stressed to the max with last-minute shopping, detail planning, cooking, baking, etc. I'm tired of it. Christmas is my most favorite holiday of the year (by far), and I'm just getting tired of the stress. My aunt told me years ago that she gets everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) done before the end of November. All gifts, all cards, everything. That way, their family can truly enjoy the Christmas Season and do things (service, cooking, caroling, concerts) that they otherwise wouldn't enjoy because of the time crunch.
She is a genius.

And for the first time, I'm actually going to do my best to get it all done. I'm half-way there!

1. Do you clean in the evening or in the morning?
2. What have you read lately that has rocked your world?
3. Do you always give Christmas gifts to the neighbors? If so, what do you do?
4. How do you lessen your stress over the Holiday Season?


Amanda D said...

I really should clean up in the evening but I don't. By then I'm too lazy. Someday.

I just finished Believe It, Be It by Ali Vincent and I loved it. Was thoroughly inspired. Thanks for the recommendation.

We do give gifts to neighbors. A couple of weeks before Christmas I bake Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls and take them around. Seriously, one recipe makes like nine pans and they are SO good. So bad for me too. One year, I did pancake mix in a jar and that was kind of fun.

I don't really feel a lot of stress over the holiday season. Never have. Maybe because I usually do cards right after Thanksgiving, and I stick to a budget and a list.

evitafjord said...

1. Both and I still feel behind. I prefer in the evening though, when things are caught up enough that it's just tidying, etc. I have much more energy at night.
2. Nothing :( I've kind of given up on reading for pleasure for now. It makes me sleepy almost instantly, so it takes forever to get anywhere and I tend to lose interest.
3. I don't, but we're not social with any of our neighbors. I would if we were and it would probably be goodies. I considered PW's rolls last year and might get to them this year.
4. Hide. I'm working on not doing that this year.

Michele said...

1. I clean in the evening, that way I have the kids here so I have way more help. It goes so much faster, and there is no stress about mess or being unable to find things in the morning.'
2. I am almost done reading "When Times Get Trying, Just Keep Trying" by Merrilee Boyack, and it is AWESOME!
3. I don't do neighbor gifts, but I do try to do some type of baking. I make a TON of homemade jam/jelly, so I have done some of that with some homemade bread.
4. By being really organized and planning ahead, and then not freaking out if something doesn't go as planned. I'm a big go with the flow person, so having a plan makes me feel accomplished, but I don't freak out if I need to switch gears at the last minute. I think it all comes down to personality type.

Cardalls said...

1.My new goal is to clean up in the evening...i feel behind when i wake up to a messy house and it makes me grouchy!
2. I realize I am biased here but "Before my heart stops" by Paul Cardall is very uplifting.
3.No neighbor gifts...i also have done Sweet rolls in the past but i am not going to torture myself this year.
4.My goal is always to be done before thanksgiving and i usually am with the majority of it.

Anonymous said...

1. Define clean.
2. Um...I'll have to get back to you on that.
3. Not every year. In the past I've done some kind of treat (usually chex mix or something rather than cookies or fudge) and one year I gave a roll of wrapping paper with a tag on it that said, "We hope you get all wrapped up in the spirit of the holidays/season/Christmas"--something like that.
4. Oh, I never stress. About anything. *snort* Actually, the least stressful Christmas I've ever had was the year I did not wait until Christmas Eve to wrap all of the presents. That's only happened once, I think. Maybe this year...

Cristy said...

1. Do you clean in the evening or in the morning? Do I ever stop cleaning?! Seriously though, I like to put everything together at night. I do the whole main floor while Jim puts the kids to bed, and then we can crash on the couch and enjoy a clutter/crumb free house for a few hours before bed.

2. What have you read lately that has rocked your world? Hmm, I'm in two book clubs so I should have something, but nothing lately has rocked my world so to speak. Trying to find time to read Fablehaven which everyone loves. Sometimes I resent bookclubs cause I don't get to read what I want!

3. Do you always give Christmas gifts to the neighbors? If so, what do you do? Yes, oh so simple. I just get the jumbo Hershey bars, tie around some ribbon, boo-ya.

4. How do you lessen your stress over the Holiday Season? I'm already done Christmas cards and will have them sent Thanksgiving weekend. Christmas lists have been made and actually bought my first stocking stuffers today! We're not doing any family this year so things should be simple.

Stephanie said...

I clean in the morning. I have a lot more energy! This includes the dishes. I usually load and run the dishwasher after breakfast, then let them pile up all day. Usually, my vaccuuming happens well before 9 am or it doesn't happen at all.

I re-read Little Women a couple months ago, and it was a completely different book to me this time around (as opposed to when I read it at 12 yrs old).

In the past, I've done some kind of baked treat that I can make in a very LARGE batch. I'm thinking of home made rolls this year, but I'm not sure what my new neighborhood usually does.

My wonderful little sister let me copy her Excel spreadsheet, and we keep track of everything on it, including what we're getting, how much is budgeted, how much we spend, and then color code it so we know what is being ordered online, home made, what is already sitting in the closet or basement, etc. It really keeps my hubby and I together on what's happening. We have most of Christmas planned, and more than half of our kids Christmas already purchased this year. It's just that pesky mother-in-law that always gets me stumped!! ideas anyone?

Alison Wonderland said...

Cleaning??? Cleaning??? It sound familiar but I'm not sure what you're talking about. I'm going to go with neither.

Elements of Pathophysiology by... Someone Porth. Interesting but I'm not sure I'd recommend it.


One year I took a week off work about the 2nd week of December. it was magical. Unfortunately I can't seem to remember that when they send schedule requests around at work so I have not repeated.

flip flop mama said...

1. I like cleaning in the morning. I have more energy. Plus once the kids go to bed I'm off duty. That's MY time.

2. I read The Weight of All Things last month. It was really good. Makes you really appreciate what you have.

3. No. Do people do that? Maybe because I live in an apartment. Sometimes I'll make cookies and give them to my friends.

4. Stress? I've actually never understood the holiday stress issue. I don't do things *I think* people expect of me. I enjoy the season. I do do Christmas cards early though.